Tough love for the GOP
David Frum explores the under-performance of the Republican candidates here. Key excerpts:
"Rudy Giuliani — a leader once legendary for his intensity, focus, and mastery of detail — has been running an improvised, unbriefed, unprepared campaign.
"Mitt Romney has ignored and denigrated his two greatest political achievements — his health-care success and his trans-party victory in Massachusetts — in order utterly implausibly to position himself as a social-issues crusader.
"John McCain, Mr. Bipartisan, now presents himself as a red-meat conservative.
"Shall I go on? . . .
"I wish somebody at the Reagan Library had said: 'Ronald Reagan was a great leader and a great president because he addressed the problems of his time. But we have very different problems — and we need very different answers. Here are mine.' . . .
"If we want to win, we have to offer the American voter something fresh and compelling. I think most of us understand that. And yet at the same time we are demanding that our candidates repeat formulas and phrases from two and three decades ago."
UPDATE: Other takes here (Daniel Henninger saw signs of smart debate last week) and here (Should Fred run for Veep?).